Saturday, September 24, 2011

Road to Nowhere

A young, cinephile director tells the story of his latest production to the film's writer. Filming a true crime story, the director hires a beautiful and mysterious actress to play the lead, who is a dead ringer for the character she is playing, and with whom he begins to become obsessed. As the shooting locations bring him from England, to Italy, to Tennesse, the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur and the director seems to get sucked into the steamy and treacherous plot of his film. "Road to Nowhere" is independent filmmaker Monte Hellman's first film in 22 years and is an alternately fascinating and frustrating film. Including elements that are not explained or do not make sense, and given extended shots to insignificant actions that add a surreal element, the movie is maddening to a Lynchian sort of way. Yet, the parts we can grasp or that seem to make sense are extraordinarily engaging. "Road to Nowhere" is a film that doesn't always make sense and doesn't even seem to want to. Regardless, even if the title is apt, I was taken for a ride anyway much in the same way as Hellman's "Two-Lane Blacktop".